The Fish
for 11 July 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Phillip Bailey]
Phillip Bailey
Production Editor


Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

The Third of July

Well, I usually like and
appreciate your daily
commentary, but it's obvious
you really got "SUCK"ed in
this time - by the history

The American Revolution is
certainly NOT boring! But the
way it is presented in modern
day text books REALLY SUCKS!
They have taken out all the
good stuff, because they
don't want our kids to know
that anyone sacrificed
anything for the life of ease
they enjoy!

The truth is that the
patriots should not have won
the war at all. Even tho' the
British were engaged all over
the globe, defending their
huge empire, they still
should have easily quelled
this little rebellion. There
were so many "miraculous"
things going on that it is
more than uncanny that even
the casual observer would
think it a coincidence that
the colonies won.

Read about the Battle of New
York, for example. Here is a

that will enlighten you to
the truth: That site has much
valuable history that you
can't find in today's texts.

One thing it doesn't have is
the account from General
Howe's personal memoirs, that
tells that he sent spies into
Valley Forge to ascertain
their condition. When the
spies returned, they reported
that they observed Washington
and his whole army kneeling
in prayer. Howe said that at
that very moment, he knew
that the war was a lost cause
for him. This really is part
of his memoirs! Everything
that even smacks of religion
or God has been removed from
the text books, so it makes
the most powerful army in the
world (the British) look like
a bunch of idiots, losing to
the rag-tag continental army.

No, the American Revolution
was certainly not boring by
any stretch of lethargy!
Sorry for the long tirade but
you hit a nerve.

Steve Trageser

Well we like your spirit,
Steve, but do you really
think stirring anecdotes
about praying and
guilt-inducing reminders that
somebody else suffered for
their life of ease is what
will get schoolkids excited
about Revolutionary history?
Maybe you're right. Who

And what could be a less
miraculous engagement than
the Battle of New York? (It's
unclear whether you're
speaking of the disastrous
Battle of Long Island or the
merely silly Battle of
Manhattan.) The Americans
were outclassed and
outfought, and they were
whupped as a result. With all
its stories of hard times,
spy missions, hair's breadth
victories, generals captured
in their pajamas (or
pyjamas), scalpings and so
on, the Revolution certainly
offers better candidates for
miraclehood than the example
you've cited.

Fish With Letter Icon

A Peace of Picasso for

Mr. Pratt,

Your piece on the Picasso
show in Bogota actually
brought a lump to my cynical
old throat. In a time when
art by recognized masters is
not merely another commodity,
but one inherently steeped in
the foulness of the
undeserving rich, it's good
to see that there are those
committed to art for humans.
With enough shows like this
one, the neo-Medicis of the
art world might just be
shamed into decent behavior.


Michael Treece

Hey Michael. Your note
practically put a lump in my
throat, actually — it's
not often you reach a reader
so. And let's keep hoping for
humans and decent behavior.

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: hey ambi

you can run but you can't

hey bud cool bit about the
nazi and guernica

when you gonna visit santa

sept-oct is best

i'll buy ya a cuppa coffee

Jack Garman

Hey glad you liked the story
and wrote, though I can't
tell from your message
exactly why. And if you look
at the contributors' page,
you'll see that I'm trying to
get a promise of work as part
of the process of getting me
& my family (including my
Colombian wife, who still
needs a visa) the fuck outta
here before the Blackhawks
arrive, so I don't know if I
can make it from Sept.-Oct.
But I'll tell ya, Santa Cruz
sounds like paradise from
where I'm sitting so tell me
more and maybe a year from
now, who knows? A coffee, a
beer, a walk in the waves...

What does ambi mean?


Fish With Letter Icon
The Third of July

Strangely enough, the third
of July is the actual day of
American independence. If I
remember correctly, after
Americans had been
celebrating the fourth of
July for a number of years, a
newspaper editor came across
a document that showed
definitively that
Independence Day was July
3rd. Not wanting to rock the
boat, the editor altered this
inconvenient declaration to
read July 4th. Whether the
editor confessed this in a
letter, I can't recall, but
when the document he altered
was analyzed, it was pretty
clear that the "3rd" had been
rubbed out and replaced by
the "4th." (Feel free to sic
your fact-checker on that

Robert O Peneguy

You're close. The Congress
voted in favor of
independence on July 2 (hence
Adams' veneration of that
date), and the Declaration
was signed on the fourth. But
tying a holiday to a specific
date is just asking for
trouble. This year the Fourth
fell on a Tuesday and Suck
didn't even get a day off. We
should rename the holiday Dio
de los Yanquis
and move it to
the first Monday in July.

Fish With Letter Icon

"You could make a case for
the American Revolution as
the first information war -
it was a tax on newspapers
and documents that started
the trouble...."

Do you know, however, why the
shooting actually started in
Lexington-Concord ("the shot
heard 'round the world?")?

The British were coming to
confiscate the firearms in
the armory.

And who says the Second
Amendment isn't necessary....

Tim Weaver
Phoenix, AZ

No argument here! Lock and
Fish With Letter Icon

Dear friends,

In your July 3 column you
refer readers to an admiring
obituary on Benjamin Rush,
signer of the Declaration of

I have long held to the view
that Rush was an idiot, and
cannot resist sending you a
newspaper column I wrote on
the subject, the first two or
three pages of which explain
why I say so.

Confusion to Tories,

Dr. K. Emmott

Relevant passages from Dr.
Emmott's column:

Also active in the 18th
century was Benjamin Rush, a
highly respected physician in
New England and a signer of
the American Declaration of
Independence. Rush was taught
the received wisdom of the
day by his teacher, the noted
Scot William Cullen: that all
diseases were caused by
"morbid excitement caused by
capillary tension" and the
remedy was bleeding. He also
poisoned his patients with
calomel (mercury) in order to
purge them of "toxins".

In 1793, Philadelphia was
struck by a yellow fever
epidemic which killed 4,000
people. Rush leaped into the
fray, taking ten or more
ounces of blood at a single
session. Of course, most of
his patients died, including
Rush's own sister and three
of his assistants. Saddened,
Rush said he wished he had
had the nerve to bleed them
even more - perhaps he could
have saved them. Blinded by
his faith in the traditional
doctrines he had been taught,
he carried on purging,
blistering and bleeding his
patients. When he died in
1813, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
"For classical learning, I
have become a zealous
advocate; and in this, as in
his theory of bleeding and
mercury, I was ever opposed
to my friend Rush, whom I
greatly loved, but who has
done much harm, in the
sincerest persuasion that he
was preserving life and
happiness all around him."

Jefferson was a clear-eyed
critic of medical fads. In
1807 he wrote; "I have lived
myself to see the disciples
of Hoffman, Boerhave, Stahl,
Cullen, Brown, succeed one
another like the shifting
figures of a magic lantern,
and their fancies, like the
dresses of the annual
doll-babies from Paris,
becoming, from their novelty,
the vogue of the day, and
yielding to the next novelty
their ephemeral favor. The
patient, treated on the
fashionable theory, sometimes
gets well in spite of the
medicine. The medicine,
therefore, restored him, and
the young doctor receives new
courage to proceed in his
bold experiments on the lives
of his fellow creatures. I
believe we may safely affirm,
that the inexperienced and
presumptuous band of medical
tyros let loose upon the
world, destroys more of human
life in one year, than all
the Robinhoods, Cartouches,
and Macheaths do in a

Thanks for your input, Dr.
Emmott. The admiring
we linked to covers
the controversy over Rush's
methods in considerably
greater and more accurate
detail than does your column.
It was for this reason that
we pointed out that obit,
with an admonition to the
reader to "see if you can do
better." And in fact, we
don't think you or we or
anybody else could have done
any better in 1793 than to
continue trying to treat the
sick in a city where an
epidemic — for which no
effective treatment existed
at the time and for which no
cure has ever been discovered
— was in the process of
killing off thousands of
people. Poking fun at old
fashioned medicine is always
good for a very quick laugh,
and we of all people can't
object to a cheap shot.
However, given that at the
time hygiene was unknown and
nobody knew germs existed,
it's not surprising that
Rush's treatment was
ineffective. Suck's
appreciation of mad doctors
is well known, but Rush was
not the idiot or martinet you
make him out to be; and we're
both in luck, because some
guy has published an
exhaustively detailed,
left-handed defense of Rush
against the people whose work
we suspect you cribbed for
your humorous essay. And as
for Rush's stands on the
issues of the day — in
favor of independence, for
the US constitution, strongly
opposed to slavery, energetic
in his efforts to help
Philadelphia's African
American community —
again, we doubt any of our
carping readers would have
done much better.

Finally, a word on your
"clear-eyed critic of medical
fads." Jefferson, in a
letter to Rush himself,
voiced his own theories on
the yellow fever epidemics:
"When great evils happen, I
am in the habit of looking
out for what good may arise
from them as consolations to
us, and Providence has in
fact so established the order
of things, as that most evils
are the means of producing
some good. The yellow fever
will discourage the growth of
great cities in our nation, &
I view great cities as
pestilential to the morals,
the health, and the liberties
of man."

Indeed! Always be careful
when citing Jefferson, the
true Mad Hatter of American

Fish With Letter Icon

 The Shit
Krushchev Remembers, by Nikita Krushchev (authorship disputed), translated by Strobe Talbott
Five-Star Day Cafe
Athens, Ga.
Salon's "Action Figures"
TV ad
Donna's Famous "Long and Short of It," by Donna Anderson and friends
Two-Lane Blacktop, directed by Monte Hellman (The Anchor Bay/Universal letterboxed edition)
George Bush, Dark Prince of Love: A Presidential Romance, by Lydia Millet (Scribner)
King Kong: The Complete 1933 Film Score, by Max Steiner Moscow Symphony Orchestra, William J. Stromberg conductor (Marco Polo)
Eightball #20, by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics Books)
The ECW's Little Spike Dudley
Stan Kenton, City of Glass, featuring arrangements by legendary weirdo Bob Graettinger (EMD/Blue Note)
Comix 2000, Edited and published by L'Association, 2000
Star Dudes
Do you know of stuff that doesn't actively suck? Things so good they deserve to make the Shitlist? Send your suggestions to us.

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